October is SIDS awareness month and small change #2
SIDS Awareness Month
- Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time.
- Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
- Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, and bumper pads.
- Wedges and positioners should not be used.
- Pregnant woman should receive regular prenatal care.
- Don’t smoke during pregnancy or after birth.
- Breastfeeding is recommended.
- Offer a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
- Avoid covering the infant’s head or overheating.
- Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Infants should receive all recommended vaccinations.
- Supervised, awake tummy time is recommended daily to facilitate development and minimize the occurrence of positional plagiocephaly (flat heads).
Small change #2: Apply safe skin products
My first daughter was born twelve years ago in Boulder, Colorado. I had moved from Dallas to Boulder, and I was doing everything to channel my inner-hippie! I hired a doula, used a midwife, took natural childbirth classes (but was totally open to any sort of drug if needed), had acupuncture to bring on labor, and forced down cod liver oil (gag-in liquid form) every day for brain development. I thought I was doing everything “right.” Looking back, I missed something. I never thought about what I was putting on my skin and on my brand new baby’s skin. Because I did not know, I was not concerned when I should have been. I never thought for a second that “dermatologist recommended, safe for baby” etc. would not be safe. Because don’t we live in a country that regulates everything? What I learned over the next twelve years later has blown my mind.
Here is what I wish I had known and I hope every new mom does not make this same mistake:
– We have only 26 seconds before what we put on skin (or on our brand new babies’ extremely delicate skin) is in our bloodstream.
– Companies are allowed to use known toxins without telling us—ingredients that have been linked to cancer, reproductive issues, and hormone disruption.
– There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today, many of which do not have any safety data. This is particularly true of skin care and beauty products.
– Roughly 10% of the 10,000 chemicals typically found in personal care products have safety data.
– The Food and Drug Administration, which regulates cosmetics, allows companies to use chemicals known to be extremely harmful, such as lead, formaldehyde, and phthalates, in the products we put on our bodies and on our kids every single day.
– United States federal law regulating the ingredients used in personal care products has not changed since 1938.
– In over twenty years, the European Union banned or restricted more than 1,300 ingredients, whereas the US has only banned eleven.
A shocking example with a common name is, Johnson and Johnson’s No More Tears. It is the number one selling baby product in the world. Two ingredients, formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, were not even listed on the ingredient list, and have just recently been removed from their formulation. Formaldehyde has been identified by government scientists as a carcinogen. It is released over time by preservatives, like quaternium-15. And 1,4-dioxane has been linked to cancer in animal studies and is in 90% of all personal care products!
What can you do? One thing is to support companies such as Beauty Counter and Honest Company, which provide safe products. Not only will you be using safe skin care, but the companies are working to change laws. It is equally important to insist on and practice safe skin care for your family. What we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our bodies.
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